The 4 Best Free Police Scanner Apps

Listen to Police Scanners Online

Picture of a police officer next to a stopped red vehicle with a man holding a flower
inhauscreative/Getty Images

A police scanner app lets you listen to live broadcasts from law enforcement and fire department events. Unlike a traditional police scanner that requires a radio in close proximity, police scanners that access the internet can be listened to by anyone with the right app or website link.

You can download a police scanner app for free to listen to emergency situations wherever you may be and for whatever reason. If you want to follow breaking news or are just curious what's going on in your neighborhood, you can do so with one of these apps that connect you directly to live police feeds.

01
of 04

5-0 Radio Police Scanner: Learn Short Codes While You Listen

5-0 police scanner app for iPhone

 Jerri Collins

The best way to get a free police scanner on your iPhone or iPad is with the 5-0 Radio Police Scanner app. While it does make you watch ads occasionally, it gives you access to lots of feeds all around the world and includes the code meanings on the same screen as the feed.

What We Like:

  • Finding the top 100 scanner feeds is easy
  • Lets you browse for local feeds among all the others
  • Police feeds can be added to your list of favorites for easy access again later
  • Shows location-specific code meanings
  • Includes access to online radio stations

What We Don't Like:

  • Free version has lots of advertisements

Works With: iPhone, iPad, Windows 10

You can get the pro app for more police feeds, no ads, a sleep timer/alarm, a siren noise maker, weather feeds, and other features.

02
of 04

Scanner Radio: Get Alerted When Something Big Is Happening

Screenshot of the Scanner Radio police app for iPhone

 Jerri Collins

One thing that sets this app apart from the other police scanners in this list is that you can set up mobile alerts to get notified when there are lots of people listening to a specific feed. This usually indicates increased activity on the scanner.

What We Like:

  • Get alerts when a certain number of people are listening to a police scanner of your choice
  • Get alerts when Broadcastify reveals that there's an alert on the scanner
  • The police scanner can turn off automatically with a sleep timer
  • Police feeds can be browsed by ones near you, the top 50, location, and source (e.g., ScanBC, RailroadRadio, Broadcastify, etc.), 

What We Don't Like:

  • Police codes are included but they're not local to the feed

Works With: Android and iOS

03
of 04

Broadcastify: Stream Police Radio Feeds From Any Device

Screenshot of the Broadcastify iPhone police scanner app

 Jerri Collins

More than 6,000 live audio streams are available to listen to at Broadcastify, with feeds from not only police radios but also public safety, aircraft, rail, and marine live audio streams.

Scanner broadcasts are categorized into sections like  Top 50 Live Audio Feeds, Latest 50 Feed Additions, and Official Feeds so that you can easily navigate to what you might be looking for. There's also a Browse by Location page to find police scanners and other streams in your area.

Broadcastify users also have the opportunity to broadcast their own stream.

What We Like:

  • Feeds with active alerts are easy to find
  • Supports lots of areas
  • Can browse for feeds around you or in any location in the world
  • Shows the newest feeds and the top 25
  • Several ways to listen, like through iTunes, a phone, or your web browser

What We Don't Like:

  • Feed archives and no ads are only available through a premium account
  • Short codes used by police are not displayed in the app

Works With: Android, iOS, Web

Note: Most if not all of the police scanner apps in this list are streams from Broadcastify. What makes the apps different is the options and features they let you tinker with.

04
of 04

Police Scanner: Record Police Feeds From Thousands of Locations

Screenshot of the Police Scanner app for iPhone

 Jerri Collins 

This police scanner for iPad and iPhone not only connects you to over 40,000 feeds but it also lets you record what you hear and play it back later.

What We Like:

  • Has police feeds from all over the world
  • You can record snippets from the radio
  • Will start or stop a feed based on a timer
  • The interface can be customized (e.g., change the background image or hide buttons and labels)
  • Custom police scanner feeds can be added to the app by URL
  • You can share the feed URL with others where they can listen in a web browser

What We Don't Like:

  • Lots of ads, including pop-up ads
  • Doesn't explain what the codes mean that police officers use

Works With: iPhone and iPad